Essays and Commentary

Too often theory is divorced from lived experience, and too often marginalised people are invited to share their stories as illustration for someone else’s opinion.

Jinghua Qian, 2012

Labor’s attack on migrant workers is a painful reminder of our sad history, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 May 2020, with Sanmati Verma.

Call out China’s meddling, but the yellow-peril alarm at ‘Chinese influence’ is racist, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 September 2019.

Yellow Peril isn’t what it used to be, Meanjin, Summer 2019/2020. (print/paywalled online)

The T on Chinese transmasculinity, Popula, 27 March 2019.

Things and their makers: From ‘European labour only’ to ‘ethical consumerism’, Right Now, 8 September 2015.

From eyelids to skin tone, beauty isn’t always about ‘looking white‘, The Guardian, 19 August 2015.

The name and the face, Overland, No. 208, Spring 2012, pp. 27-32. All of Jinghua’s writing for Overland can be found here.

What I do as a sensitivity reader, ArtsHub, 9 September 2019.

‘The Farewell’ will break your heart in the best way, SBS, 2 September 2019.

TV shows that were ruined by stray shoesSBS, 18 June 2019.

How to come out to your migrant parents, SBS, 16 April 2019.

How to get a five-year residency permit if you’re sort of Chinese-ish, Popula, 3 December 2018.

We went to Asia’s biggest Pride MarchAutostraddle, 10 November 2017.

Four perspectives on race & racism in Australian poetry, Overland, No. 222, Autumn 2016, with AJ Carruthers, Samuel Wagan Watson, and Elena Gomez.

Shapeshifting in the Year of the Monkey, The Lifted Brow, 4 February 2016.

Queering the Air, in David Hardy (ed.), Bold: Stories from older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & intersex people, Rag and Bone Man Press, Melbourne, 2015, with Pham Phu Thanh Hang and Arjun Rajkhowa.

Border violence as settler nativism, The Platform, 26 July 2014.

Fissures and friendships: How I became a woman of colour, Peril, no. 10, January 2011. Full archive of Jinghua’s work for Peril available here.


Photo: Newlyweds’ bedroom door in Shaanxi province, China, 18 October 2017. Jinghua Qian for Sixth Tone.

Mental health online (beyond avoiding the comments), ArtsHub, 11 October 2019.

Bringing the world home, ArtsHub, 5 August 2019.

From Taiwan to Melbourne: First Nations exchanges that decentre the West, ArtsHub, 10 May 2019.

‘Against Chinese values’: homophobia, nationalism and marriage, Overland, 29 May 2017.

It’s complicated: Chinese millennials and marriage, Sixth Tone, 4 August 2018, with Fan Yiying.

LGBT mental health: closet prejudice remains, Sixth Tone, 19 May 2016.

Women take sex ed into their own hands and phones, Sixth Tone, 6 May 2016.

Return home and ‘settle’, Confucians tell women, Sixth Tone, 22 April 2016.

Waking up to the threat of domestic violence, Sixth Tone, 3 April 2016.

Full archive of Jinghua’s stories for Sixth Tone can be found here

Australian media has a long history of racist cartooning. This cartoon, ‘Wake, Australia! Wake’, appeared in The Boomerang on 11 February 1888. Its personification of immigration as a threat against white womanhood is still a familiar trope in Australian racism today.

Reviews and criticism

Yellow Peril isn’t what it used to be, Meanjin, Summer 2019/2020. (print/paywalled online)

Sneaking up for a gut punch, Witness, 2020.

Asia TOPA: Virtual Intimacy, Witness, 2020.

Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep, Peril, 2020.

Saigon, Arts Centre Melbourne/Asia TOPA, ArtsHub, 2020.

Samsara, Arts Centre Melbourne/Asia TOPA, ArtsHub, 2020.

Sva Kranti, Footscray Community Arts Centre/Asia TOPA, ArtsHub, 2020.

Torch the Place, Arts Centre Melbourne/Asia TOPA, ArtsHub, 2020.

Boobs, Arts Centre Melbourne, ArtsHub, 2020.

The Drill, Due West Festival, ArtsHub, 2019.

Conversations with the Dead, Arts Centre Melbourne, ArtsHub, 2019.

Black Is the New White, Southbank Theatre, ArtsHub, 2019.

Hard Sell, NICA, ArtsHub, 2019.

Society, Melbourne Fringe, ArtsHub, 2019.

Golden Shield, Southbank Theatre, ArtsHub, 2019.

Since Ali Died, Arts Centre Melbourne, ArtsHub, 2019.

A Midnight Visit, Broad Encounters, ArtsHub, 2019.

Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang, NGVArtsHub, 2019.

Daddy, Yirramboi FestivalArtsHub, 2019.

Matriarch, Yirramboi FestivalArtsHub, 2019.

Boundless plains to share: ‘Lost Years’ and the Chinese diaspora, Metro, Issue 180, 2014.(print)


Photo: ‘Tong Xing’ — a puppetry/poetry collaboration with Beth McMahon and Michael Bevitt (the indirect Object) for Black Hole’s Captured Whispers, 17 May 2015.

Out, Offshoot: Contemporary Life Writing Methodologies and Practice, eds. Donna Lee Brien & Quinn Eades, UWA Publishing, 2018.

Hard, Press: 100 Love Letters, eds. Francesca Rendle-Short and Laurel Flores Fantauzzo, University of the Philippines Press, 2017.

Mainland girls, Cordite, Vol 52 (Toil), 1 November 2015.

Consumed without consent, Writers Victoria, 15 September 2015.

Leaving traces, released as part of National Young Writer Month along with an interview with the poet by Izzy Roberts-Orr, 29 June 2015.

Floodgates, Poetic Justice: Contemporary Australian Voices on Equality and Human Rights, eds. Andre Dao and Roselina Press, Right Now, 2014.

Toisan, Mascara Literary Review, No. 15, May 2014.

Tong Xing, Overland audio edition, 7 August 2012.

Typography, Melbourne Poetry Map, 2011.

Patriot, Going Down Swinging Vol. 27, 2009.

Jinghua has performed extensively over the last decade. Listen to eir work here.